City of Toronto Sidewalk Pilot Project

  • Tuesday, 27 November 2012

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The City of Toronto is asking the public for their opinions. At the intersection of Victoria and Shuter Street is a pilot project to help the City decide on what standard they should adopt for pedestrian warning plates on their sidewalk surfaces. Pedestrian warning plates help alert people with visual impairments of the upcoming street crossing. The location was chosen by the city for a large amount of foot traffic.

On each corner are four very different surface types. Among the four chosen materials on the northeast corner, are six, cast iron, detectable warning plates by Neenah Foundry. The detectable warning plates are inset into the concrete and split into two segments to properly direct pedestrians safely to the crosswalk, and not diagonally through the intersection. The plates are constructed with a rigid surface as well as a raised set of bumps for the best possible tactile warning for the visually impaired. 

The other three materials chosen to participate in the project are plastic access tiles in red and black, clay spot pavers, and concrete pavers. After having installed the materials on November 8th 2012, some of the products are already beginning to fail, getting chipped away by mere foot traffic and not yet encountering any weather conditions or snow plough machinery.

The project's end point is set for summer 2013, giving the public the opportunity to access the site in all four seasons. Showing the short and long term effects the environment has on each product.

"We are more than happy to participate in this pilot project with the city. It will outright prove that unpainted cast iron, will not only be the most tactile material, but will provide the longevity and durability needed to withstand the harsh winter climate our city faces." says Iain Crozier, Vice-President of Crozier Enterprises.

The public are encouraged to visit the project site to view and experience all the materials first hand. A sign is posted on each corner, with a letter designation for clarity on which material is on each corner. The City of Toronto website has provided a summary on each material and includes both an email address and phone number for the public to give their opinion on which material they believe is the city's best option.